A Discovery

First, an apology.  I haven’t posted because….  No excuses I haven’t posted.  Thanks for all the views!

Two discoveries, actually.  The first, bottling goes much faster when someone is helping you.  I bottled a batch of Naked Porter, so-called because my favorite craft brewery, the Dry Dock in Aurora, Colorado, generally brews it with vanilla.  Every once in a while they leave out the vanilla and it makes a great, very flavorful porter.  Because the Dry Dock started out as a homebrew store, they’re very accomodating of homebrewers and will share their recipes (although Tim, one of the brewers there, assures me they won’t give you everything).  So I brewed it.  Aside from the discovery that the wife helping package speeds up the process by much more than a factor of two, it led me to the second discovery, why I’m not generally fond of my ales.

My house faces generally south-southeast and has a walk-out basement, home of course to Applied Zymurgy Brewing.  Most days this winter the sun has come up under a cloud deck but on a few I walked into the basement and noticed how bright the sunlight shining in was.  Now I’m no fool:  My carboys were never in a place where they could be hit by direct sun!  But I’ve noticed that my lagers held their flavor in secondary much better than my ales.  The flavor seems to diminish and there’s a strange note in the background.  Today it hit me what that was.  It wasn’t what I’d call “skunk” or rubber and it wasn’t overpowering but there.  Due to the light reflected off the bright white insulating surfaces on the basement walls, my ales were skunking.

I intend to test the hypothesis by brewing a batch, splitting the secondary, shielding one half from the strong light and letting the other half stand.  I’ll publish the results of the test, likely brew after next since I’m getting a strong desire for an IPA. Discovery is a joy to me, testing this idea may or may not result in better beer but the test itself will be fun.

Ski season progresses, most everything slows down when there’s snow in the high country and lifts running to help exploit it.  So there, my reason for slower than usual publication of this blog. 

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